FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Donbass: ‘The War Has Not Started Yet’

Two top Cossack commanders in the People’s Republic of Donetsk and a seasoned Serbian volunteer fighter are adamant: the real war in Donbass has not even started.

It’s a spectacular sunset in the People’s Republic of Donetsk and I’m standing in the Cossack ‘holy land’ – an open field in a horse-breeding farm – talking to Nikolai Korsunov, captain of the Ivan Sirko Cossack Brigade, and Roman Ivlev, founder of the Donbass Berkut Veterans Union group.

Why is this Cossack ‘holy land’? They take no time to remind me of the legendary 17th century Cossack military hero Ivan Sirko, a.k.a. “The Wizard”, credited with extra-sensory powers, who won 55 battles mostly against Poles and Tatars.

Only three kilometers from where we stand a key battle at a crossroads on the ancient Silk Road called Matsapulovska Krinitsa took place, involving 3,000 Cossacks and 15,000 Tatars.

Now, at the dawn of the Chinese-driven 21st century New Silk Road – which will also traverse Russia – here we are discussing the proxy war in Ukraine between the US and Russia whose ultimate objective is to disrupt the New Silk Road.

Commander Korsunov leads one of the 18 Cossack brigades in Makeevka; 240 of his soldiers are now involved in the Ukrainian civil war – some of them freshly returned from the cauldron in Debaltsevo. Some were formerly part of the Ukrainian Army, some worked in the security business. Korsunov and Ivlev insist all their fighters have jobs, even if unpaid – and have joined the Donetsk People’s Republic army as volunteers. “Somehow, they manage to survive.”

What’s so special about Cossack fighters? “It’s historical – we’ve always fought to defend our lands.”Commander Korsunov was a miner, now he’s on a pension – although for obvious reasons he’s receiving nothing from Poroshenko’s Kiev set up; only support from the Berkut group, the Ministry for Youth and Sports of the People’s Republic, and humanitarian food convoys from Russia.

Korsunov and Ivlev are convinced Minsk 2 will not hold; fierce fighting should resume “in a matter of weeks.” According to their best military intelligence, Kiev’s army, after the recent IMF loan, was allocated no less than $3.8 billion for weapons.

Checkpoint in Donetsk. (Photo: Pepe Escobar)

Checkpoint in Donetsk. (Photo: Pepe Escobar)

“After Odessa”, they say – a reference to the massacre of civilians in May last year – Ukraine as we know it “is finished”. So what would be the best political solution for Donbass? Their priority is “to free all Ukraine from fascism.” And after victory, referenda should be held in all regions of the country.“People should vote for what they want; whether to remain in Ukraine, whether to align with Europe, or with Russia.” This implies advancing towards Western Ukraine across hostile territory; “We’re ready for five, seven years of war, it doesn’t matter.”

So even if a political solution might be possible on a distant horizon, they are preparing for a long war. The EU is “mistaken” to treat them as separatists and even terrorists. As for those elusive Russian tanks and soldiers relentlessly denounced by NATO, where are they? Hiding in the bushes? They laugh heartily – and we’re off to a countryside Cossack banquet.

Kiev wants war

Serbian fighter Dejan “Deki” Beric – a hero of the People’s Republic army, already decorated with 10 medals – fully shares the assessment of the Cossack commanders: “The real war has not started yet.”

There are 20 Serbs – all with extensive battle experience – fighting alongside the Donbass brigades. “Deki” has just returned from a secret hardcore recon mission, infiltrating enemy territory just to conclude they are bringing in fresh soldiers, bringing new technicians, and are awash with new weapons. Minsk 2 is about to the shredded to pieces.

“Deki” shows absolutely harrowing personal footage shot with his mobile phone of the People’s Republic victory at the now fully destroyed Donetsk airport; the main scene (not fully uploaded to YouTube) starts with soldiers laughing, chatting and smoking and pans to dozens of scattered, lifeless bodies of Kiev’s forces.

Burying the dead: a hero of the People's Republic of Donetsk in Saur-mogila. (Photo: Pepe Escobar)

Burying the dead: a hero of the People’s Republic of Donetsk in Saur-mogila. (Photo: Pepe Escobar)

“Deki” confirms that even before last summer Kiev might have had no less than 20,000 dead. The absolute majority of soldiers he encountered were too scared to fight; in the Debaltsevo cauldron,“they didn’t even try to fight.”

Less than two weeks ago Ukrainian Prime Minister “Yats”, cherished pal of the American Queen of Nulandistan Victoria “F**k the EU”, made no mistake war is inevitable: “Our goal is to regain control of Donetsk and Lugansk.” Of course such a wide-ranging threat is possible only when you’re sure of total support from the IMF and NATO – financial and military arms from the US government. Not to mentionCapitol Hill.

NATO has no proper intel agency of its own. NATO’s military intel is gathered by American, Brit or German agents – thus politically manipulated. That’s why NATO’s current Dr. Strangelove, Gen. Breedlove – call him Breedhate – is able to relentlessly spew out the same nonsense about “columns of Russian equipment – primarily Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air defense systems and Russian combat troops” invading Ukraine over and over again, even as OSCE observers insist they have never seen them. And neither did this columnist.

Contrary to the assessment of both Cossack commanders and “Deki”, this concise analysis contends that neither side – Kiev or the Donbass armies – is about to launch a full offensive anytime soon. Meanwhile, the People’s Republic of Donetsk is turbo-charging the political front. Foreign Minister Alexander Kofman – who confirms he’s having political discussions with members of some EU countries – says there are plans for a wide-ranging meeting in May, leading to the possible set up of an Institution of Unrecognized Nations which could include a lot of participants, from Donetsk and Lugansk to Catalonia and the Basque country.

And Kofman is adamant. He’d rather see the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk as an independent country, not as part of Russia. But first, the war Kiev – and Washington – are so obsessed on winning has to end.

Pepe Escobar traveled to Donetsk at the invitation of German-based media project Europa Objektiv.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).  His latest book is Empire of ChaosHe may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

This piece first appeared in RT.

More articles by:

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).  His latest book is Empire of ChaosHe may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
April 09, 2020
John Davis
Freedom Virus
Vincent Emanuele
The New Normal: Cascading and Multilayered Crises
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie’s Last Tape
John O'Kane
Remove the Boomer Virus and What Virus Remains?
Kevin Bixby – Daryl T. Smith
The Border Wall Risks Us All
Nick Pemberton
Could COVID-19 Count Fox News Among Its Victims?
Howard Lisnoff
American Exceptionalism in the Face of Covid-19
Charles Pierson
We Are Living (And Dying) in Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death”
Sam Husseini
Sanders Suspends: What Happened? What Now?
Binoy Kampmark
Banal Terrors: Pandemics and the Ordinary Business of War
Ted Rall
Why We Need a New Progressive Party and How We Can Create It
Walden Bello
Martin Khor: the Making of a Global Activist
Ariel Dorfman
COVID-19 and the Lessons of Life in Exile
Merriam Ansara
John Lennon in Quarantine: a Letter From Havana
George Wuerthner
Politics and Corruption at Grand Canyon
Eugene Schulman
Lost in the Pandemic: the Forever Wars
Dean Baker
Basic Economics for Economic Columnists: a Depression is a Process, Not an Event
George Ochenski
The Dishonest Mr. Daines
Mike Ferner
Love in a Dangerous Time
Brian Horejsi
Beware Government Secrecy in Times of Pandemic
Sam Pizzigati
No Fennel in the Sausage, No $600 for the Jobless
Jason Christensen – John Carter
Conservation Groups Oppose the Nature Conservancy’s Cattle Grazing Development Project on the Border of Canyonlands National Park
April 08, 2020
Melvin Goodman
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Body Politic
Eve Ottenberg
Amid Plague, Sanctions are Genocide
Vijay Prashad, Du Xiaojun – Weiyan Zhu
How China Learned About SARS-CoV-2 in the Weeks Before the Global Pandemic
Bill Quigley
Seven Disturbing Facts About COVID-19 in Louisiana
Joyce Nelson
BlackRock Takes Command
Geoff Dutton
Coronavirus as Metaphor: It’s Not Peanuts
Richard Moser
From Strike Wave to General Strike
Gary Leupp
Could COVID-19 Kill Capitalism?
Thomas Klikauer – Nadine Campbell
Corona, Capital and Class in Germany
Tom Crofton
Aspirational vs Pragmatic: Why My Radicalness is Getting More Radical
Steve Kelly
Montana Ballot Access Decision Suppresses Green Party Voters
Jacob Hornberger
Muhammad Ali’s Fight Against the Pentagon
Phil Mattera
The Rap Sheets of the Big Ventilator Producers
Manuel García, Jr.
Why Remdesivir and Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19?
Rick Baum
When “Moderate” Democrats Lead the Ticket and Win, Down-Ballot Candidates Soon Suffer Losses
Jake Johnston
Tens of Millions Will Be Pushed into Poverty Amid COVID-Induced Recession
Kim C. Domenico
Healthy and Unhealthy Fear in the Age of Coronavirus
John W. Whitehead
Draconian Lockdown Powers and Civil Liberties
Binoy Kampmark
University Bailouts, Funding and Coronavirus
Luke Ruediger
BLM Timber Sale Increases Fire Risk, Reduces Climate Resilience and Harms Recreation
John Kendall Hawkins
Slavoj Žižek’s Virulent Polemic Against Covid-19, and Stuff!
Nyla Ali Khan
Finding Meaning and Purpose in Adversity
April 07, 2020
Joel McCleary – Mark Medish
Paradigm Shift by Pandemic
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail